Friars in the broader sense are the male members of a Christian religious community ( religious men ).

In many religious men but only those members are referred to as brothers (Latin Fratres ), the priests are not ( lay brothers ), while the clergy are called priests. Other orders (such as the Franciscan Order and other mendicant orders ), however, emphasize the fact that all male members (including religious) describe themselves as brother.

The members of the Order are called in monastic religious men and monks, at Kanonikerorden also canons.

In most monastic Order of the men known as the converse lay brothers to reform the Roman Catholic religious life after the 2nd Vatican Council were not considered full-fledged monks.

The address of a friar is dependent on the particular house tradition of the monastery and is either Frater (Fr.), ( fr.) or brother ( Bro ). For priests and deacons usually Pater ( P.) is used. The Canons of Kanonikerordens be in German with Mr. and sometimes addressed in Latin with Dominus. The Order of Malta is to address the professed knights, the Italian short form Fra ' use.